Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cops Lie Under Oath -- Surprise, Surprise....

... and they do it ALL the time.

Re.: NY Bicyclist's Mugging.

"...Clearly, Officer Pogan was in the wrong. Even Commissioner Kelley and Mayor Bloomberg said so.

What is interesting is that so many people who don't think Pogan did anything wrong in brutally attacking the cyclist, also seem to ignore the fact that Pogan blatantly lied in his police report.

Also, everyone is up in arms about cyclists - saying that cyclists deserve what they get because they ALL run red lights and disobey traffic laws.

Think about that statement next time you "cross between, and not at the green" or otherwise jaywalk or go 4 miles per hour over the speed limit or do a 2 mile per hour roll through a stop sign. Do you think in every one of those cases that Officer Pogan would be justified in clocking you in the head so that you fell to the pavement at 15 mph? Without even giving you a warning?...." -- by K9 Patrol

Several times I have been a personal witness to this truth:

Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) lie all the time.

Usually they get away with it. Usually they get the benefit of the doubt from courts, where their unwitnessed testimony on everything from traffic violations to serious felonies is rarely challenged.

In this instance they don't.

Here's hoping that more of them get caught out.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Point of this Whole Presidential Campaign....

I don’t like either candidate. Neither will solve the problems of out-of-control spending and big government.

The only thing I can hang my very-Libertarian-but-extremely-realistic hat on is “Who is going to appoint SCOTUS candidates?”. That pretty much makes up my mind for me….

Think about it:

It all depends on how quickly you want your way of life and your freedom of choice to vanish.
It still will, but your choice of candidate will determine how quickly your life will change — for the worse.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Drunk in the Balcony and the Greenwich Village Drum Machine....

The Drunk in the Balcony and the Greenwich Village Drum Machine....

Well, last night was the Steve Earle concert at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville.

Four years ago I saw SE right there in Stuart’s, and it was one of their best concerts. Not The Everbodyfields, but... I should have taken set list notes. Forgive me.

For you ultra-serious SE fans, I suggest you just skip this review -- OR go and buy a Chris Knight CD. It’ll do you good. As for me, the best part of the night was the salad at Casa Nueva, an hour before the concert.

Opener: surprise, surprise, it was Allison Moorer, or MRS. Steve Earle. Since 2005 -- one year after I last saw an excellent SE concert. I wonder....

Start from the SE start: I’ve been playing SE songs for years. And years. And years. But I’ve always found him a little spotty compared to my favorite songwriters. For every gem, there are four or five duds.

Ta-da! Dud.

This is way low of me. Way low. But Mrs. SE stole the lower half of one of Hillary Clinton’s pant-suits. Not a fashion choice you would often see at a SE concert. There, that’s over. I’m not a fashionista, but heck, this was just the beginning of a bunch of bad choices.

Four songs into Mrs. SE’s brassy-voiced, just off-key-enough-to-be-annoying, and ultra-mediocre guitar-playing set, she launched into a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”. At that point I headed for the bar/entrance hall down below and got a second coffee – no easy feat for a newly-reformed drunk: it was better in the bar than staying to listen. My immediate thought was that it would take three plays of a double-live Fred Eaglesmith CD to excoriate this from what is left of my brain. Two minutes later, I was followed by my much-much better half, who just rolled her eyes and headed for the Marietta IPA. That’s it for Mrs. SE.

A little t-shirt, overpriced CD and DVD break and then, heeeeeeeeerrrrre’s STEVE!

He’s always a better guitar player than I expect him to be. When he plays with a band, he’s never THE guitar player -- so you forget that he is a better-than-average player -- despite the use of the same three turnarounds for each verse/chorus in every song. He has great timing, rhythm and beat. This is important, as the last two live acts I’ve seen as a paying customer were Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack, both of whom, and especially Kimbrough are really GOOD players. Both are also wonderful, concise, well-rounded songwriters who are not living on their laurels. (And who don't make up the majority of their songs while recording their latest efforts.)

The sound was fairly good. Vocals could have been better, but heck, the sound man can’t fix enunciation.

That said, SE’s first five or six tunes were good. Good playing and fairly good vocals. Heck, it’s Steve F’n Earle. Ya know what I mean? Sure ya do. Jericho road, Jerusalem, Someday, Ellis Unit One - more folks need to hear this stuff!

Next: The Drunk in the Balcony. Yep. There’s always a drunk in the balcony. And he’s always a major nuisance. This one was. But he was also something that both the Bush administration and Steve Earle need: a Truth-Teller.

Steve Earle is using a DJ operated drum-machine and loop technology! The last guy I saw using loops was Bruce Cockburn. SE ain’t BC.

The DJ looked like a fey version of John Goodman. He sported a little superior smile on his fat little fey face that smacked of arrogance. He had a “moog” t-shirt that just gave off that new Greenwich Village ultra-hipness that SE is now evidently a part of. He spun his little turntable squeakies. He thumped his finger-activated drum-pads. He had little maracas running in the background, interfering with some spare but nicely timed dobro from SE.

(Note: SE was from Texas. Then Tennessee. Now it’s Greenwich Village. Pardonne-moi, but AMERICANA is Texas and Tennessee -- not Greenwich Village. Sorry, it’s just not. Folk music, yes -- NOT Americana.)

Then came “The Drunk in the Balcony”. Usually I hate these guys. I want to pay bikers to kick his ass. Heck, I wanna join in on the ass-kicking. But in this case HE was the hero -- not SE.

After the first DJ aided massacre, we heard this slurred voice from the balcony: “Throw the drum machine in the dumpster.” (This is obviously a take-off of the lyrics to SE's "Week of Living Dangerously".)

After the second DJ mess: “Throw the drum machine in the dumpster and fade on into the sunset.” (A very poetic Drunk in the Balcony, now.)

After the third DJ abortion: “You ain’t all that! Throw the drum machine into the dumpster.” (By now I think I have a man-crush on this drunk.)

SE brings MRS. SE out for a duet. They CO-WROTE it! It’s turrible. Three-year-olds have throw-aways better than this. The drunk in the balcony is back and I want to buy him another but he’s still stuck on the drum machine.

The COVER of Copperhead Road. If you don’t want to do it right, don’t do it. I KNOW it’s your song. I’ve done it so many times, I don’t care if I ever hear it again, but if you feel like you have to do it, please do it right.

I did like the posing at the end. There's something pretty f'n funny about a guy in a plaid western shirt, baggy jeans, old cowboy boots and stringy hair doing a broadwayesque version of a guitar hero pose, complete with hip thrust and fist in air. I'm fairly certain it was sarcasm on SE's part. Either way, very funny. Maybe it's his way of dealing with the nine-thousandth repeat of Copperhead Road.

And one more last-last thang: if you are such a liberal, that big, black Silver-Eagle better be running on F’n vegetable oil. And remember, Steve Earle is a “union guy”, and thanks to him, there was a bass player and a better-than-average drummer signing up for unemployment tonight, replaced by a fey John Goodman DJ.

My take on the whole thing: God Bless Fred Eaglesmith. And Steve Earle ain’t Steve Earle anymore.

Monday, July 21, 2008

NPR - Bad Poster Children choice....

Well here's the link.... They are trying to make their points, but the poster children they have chosen are... uhhhhh... well... see for yourself. And here's my reply. Not that they are going to acknowledge it.

If you had picked a couple starving people, or at least left off the photos, your story would have had more bite.

I realize that they may not have “healthy” diets and probably eat too much starchy carbs (A lot of it while watching Springer, I’m a-guessin’.), but they sure don’t make good poster children for what you are trying to accomplish.

Now it is true that I do not know these particular people, but I’m bettin’ that if you picked them up and drove them to work or school they would still drop out of both. Time and again.

I don’t have the answer of how to do it, but you have to change this culture of dependency.

Times will get tougher before they get better, and those of us who now unwillingly pay the freight for these people will not be able to carry the extra weight much longer. Of course we have no choice right now; the government forces us to provide for them.

The upshot of this comment is that you need to provide better examples and that sooner or later circumstances will be such that even Almighty Big Brother will not be able to care for either the deserving needy or the undeserving freeloaders.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MIses Meets Poetry -- Xenomoney, by Rosmarie Waldrop

Xenomoney: From Promise to Tautology

One thirty-fifth of an ounce of gold for a dollar. The treasury was obliged. Till 1973, when the US Government canceled. Such obligation. Since then exact resemblance for exact resemblance, exact same bill for exact same bill. And nothing, neither gold nor silver, in back of the mirror. (If there had been would it reveal scenes of Vietnam? Reasons of the fourfold increase in the price of oil?)

Cut loose from any fixed equivalence, the dollar sets sail and floats off-shore on market forces. Into uncertain foreign waters and computer screens. Xenomoney.

No more physical reality of a country to guarantee it. Xenomoney belongs to international business that trumps princes and States. No history or traceable origin. Like zero outside 'natural' language. Anonymous. A bubble from no sinking ship.

Here creditor does not know debtor. Though they are joined together in one long chain. He cannot examine balance sheets of every link. He can only bite his fingernails. And remember a river in Poland or New Jersey.

Of course it's long since money went beyond being pure medium of exchange and infiltrated the category of "goods." Itself bought and sold. Both object and medium, thing and token, commodity and sign for a commodity, it signifies itself. As if a photograph could not only lose its reference to your dead wife but make you forget what is a face.

No more "grounding" of money signs in some prior, natural thing. Just as zero did for numbers—what "thing" could zero possibly refer to? Though Mesopotamia is split crosswise and dollarwise.

Money now creates its own significance. In the only terms available to it. Money is time. And can be bought as a financial future. According to qualities that are precisely not according. And are thought to burn open sexual parts.

Rosmarie Waldrop

Friday, July 11, 2008

Higher Powers and Mixed Martial Arts fighting....

Can you tell where the local newspaper notice leaves off and my imagination begins? I thinks you can.

Saturday’s Higher Power Mixed Martial Arts' event “Fight Night” has been canceled.

The event will be rescheduled, but no makeup date has been announced yet. For more information call 740-777-3670.

Cancellation was due to a Trademark infringement suit filed in Heavenly Municipal Court by Alcoholics Anonymous.

Saint Peter's representative, The Crabby Fat Guy, will be hearing the case during Happy Hour at Leo's Bier Haus on East Main Street in Lancaster.

Higher Power MMA has filed counter-suit against AA on basis of Religious Discrimination. They claim that their Higher Power can beat the snot out of AA's Higher Power.

Otis Campbell, spokesman for AA, referred to the counter-suit by claiming that it wouldn't be a fair fight, as "they have just one Higher Power, while we have many.", and offered to "meet them (Higher Power MMA) in a cage match at the nearest Pentecostal Church."

More forthcoming.